My Week With Marilyn ***

February 19, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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At first glance, My Week with Marilyn might seem like a salacious behind-the-scenes look at a mostly forgotten (yet high profile at the time) movie that had its share of off-camera drama…write James Berardinelli.

However, a closer examination of the film reveals an incomplete character study of icon-in-the-making Marilyn Monroe. Although still six years away from her 1962 death-by-overdose when she traveled to England to make The Prince and the Showgirl with Sir Laurence Olivier, Marilyn displayed many of the characteristics that would later poison her career and personal life. My Week with Marilyn chronicles the difficult process of getting the film in the can while exploring the enigma that was Marilyn Monroe at the height of her fame.

Adrian Hodges’ screenplay is based on two books written by Colin Clark, who was the “third assistant to the director” on The Prince and the Showgirl. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Clark, who died in 2002, published the accounts of his time spent with Marilyn Monroe. His claims of a chaste love affair ring true and his portrait of the actress meshes with other accounts from the era. My Week with Marilyn is a relatively accurate encapsulation of Clark’s experiences. However, although the narrative is presented from his point-of-view, this isn’t his story – he seems like a minor satellite orbiting a blazing star.

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